spielbox February/March 2010

spielbox 1/2010 cover On Thursday the first issue of 2010 arrived, with the news that spielbox will be issued in English too! Moreover, I was pleased to see that Vasco da Gama got 9/10 from all its 4 reviewers. Not so pleasing was the editorial, stating that based on the replies to their earlier enquiry, they will keep the format of the magazine (as I had predicted): my plea for fewer reviews and more historical, comparative and other kinds of articles was obviously in the minority.

The issue comes with a mildly useful Dominion add-on: a cardboard to put your draw and discard piles on and not confuse both. The issue's contents is as follows, with underlined games receiving great reviews:

  • News:
    • Zoch (known for its Heckmeck line of games) was bought by major toy group
    • Derek Carver (game author and contributor to Counter magazine) became 80
    • The Settlers of Catan and expansions sold 10 Million copies in Germany alone
    • Geocaching is the theme of a card game, First to Find!
    • the German Post issues a stamp featuring Parcheesi
    • In Canton, China, council tenants who play Mah-jong in public get 5 penalty points, the same as for throwing garbage out of the window! They risk being evicted when reaching 20 points.
  • Long reviews: Vasco da Gama, A la carte, Endeavor, Darwinci, Alcazar, El Paso, Atlantis, Carson City, Day&Night, Last Train to Wensleydale, Greed, 2 de Mayo
  • Short reviewsDie Chinesische Mauer & Die Super-Ereignisse (In the Year of the Dragon expansions), Auf Messers Schneide (Pandemic expansion), Winkelzüge, Wazabi, Mausgeflippt, Abriss, Ubongo 3D, alea iacta est
  • Children’s games: Busy Bee, Nelly, Muh&Mäh! (cows and sheep, as you may guess), Määh! (only sheep), Die lieben Sieben - ab auf die Wippe! (children game titles use lots of exclamation marks!), Schatz der Mumie
  • Reports:
    • brief impressions from the Nuremberg Toy Fair: more of the same
    • Tom Felber plays around the world: this time he attempts to play games in buses
  • Edition spielbox 88: Schwere Schritte, a race game for 2-6 players by Tobias Thulke
  • Profiles:
    • 30 years of publisher Amigo
    • Haim Shafir (author of Galli Galli, published by Amigo) and Ariel Laden (author of children's and abstract games), two game designers and publishers in Israel
  • History:
    • Nim-inspired abstract games like Nimbi, Quarto!, Isola, Blokus, etc.
    • the roots of: Monopoly City
    • for collectors: the games of International Team, an Italian publisher in the 80s
  • Variants:
    • Endeavor for 3 players
    • Suleika without dice

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